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Oct 12, 2006 05:57 PM

Recs near 20th/Potrero?

I just moved into the neighborhood, and it would take about 3 months to sample all the taquerias and pupuserias nearby. What are your favorites in the eastern Mission/Potrero Hill area? Are there any non-Mexican/Central American places worth going to?

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  1. Wow, I seem to be stuck on the same two restos today. Highly recommend Universal Cafe, 19th and Bryant.

    6 Replies
    1. re: chaddict

      Universal is great. I also like Slo Club.

      On Potrero, 18th/Connecticut, etc. Just for You - great breakfast, Farley's - great hang out cafe (and the sandwich place next door). For old school SF, Bottom of the Hill use to do a weekend barbeque. Aperto (Italian) use to be v. good neighborhood place but they changed owners around 2000 and haven't been since then.

      1. re: ML8000

        Just for You moved to 22nd St near 3rd a number of years ago. It's old spot was filled by the original Chez Maman. Bottom of the Hill ended the barbecue long ago too.

        Other places (besides Aperto) on Potrero Hill's 18th St. include Lingba Lounge (okay but somewhat bland Thai), Baraka (good but overpriced), Chez Papa (good southern French bistro), Chez Maman (very good Parisian cafe: crepes, paninis, salads and a few entrees in a tiny space); Eliza (California-influenced Chinese; not "authentic" but quite tasty) and the Original Thai Barbecue (good, cheap barbecued chicken and noodle dishes).

        Down on De Haro, on the flats between 16th and 17th, are Sally's (breakfast) and Colours Cafe (bistro and wine/beer bar connected with the same folks who have Chez Maman and Chez Papa. Quite relaxing hangout with a few good dishes but overall the food is better at Chez Maman)

        1. re: Joan Kureczka

          We checked out Chez Maman one night when we were craving French and after reading the menu (burgers? quesadillas?) went elsewhere.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Yeah, I don't get the quesadillas myself (a relatively recent addition to the original more French menu), but the merguez panini, chicken and mustard crepes, mussels and other entrees, and fries are all very good to excellent. I haven't tried the burgers, but have heard excellent reports.

          2. re: Joan Kureczka

            Yeah, I stopped hanging there when Chez Papa moved in and the GF moved away. Couldn't go in to Chez Papa for the longest time because it replaced the ice cream place.

        2. re: chaddict

          I'd like to add that Universal Cafe has an amazing brunch. Get there before 10:15 if you don't want to wait.

        3. At 20th & Alabama, there's Atlas Cafe. Years ago, I used to work nearby. I haven't been back since, so I can't comment on how it is now, but it was a good solid cafe back then. Good coffee and a great roasted sweet potato sandwich (I know it sounds weird, but it was really tasty).

          1 Reply
          1. re: chompy

            And good egg and cheese bagels. They steam their eggs and use House of Bagels. Another option a couple of blocks over is Cafe Gratituse. Vegan, mostly (but not only) raw food that is quite tasty.

          2. I live at 20th and Hampshire, so we are neighbors!

            To add to the above:

            Homestyle Mexican: Jay & Bee bar at York and 20th

            El Metate at 22nd and Bryant.

            Much prefer Slow Club to Universal Cafe for similar Cal food.

            Taco Truck on 19th and Harrison.

            Goat Hill pizza at 18th and Connecticut (Delivery is from other location).

            Those are the closest.

            Atlas Cafe and Rite Spot are nearby for bar type food.

            Jeff S

            1. Other than the ones mentioned above, I also enjoy Hard Knox Cafe. It's a little further away on 3rd St by 22nd. Great soul food at good prices.

              1. What about all those taquerias and such on 24th? Any diamonds in the rough?

                3 Replies
                1. re: scoobyhed

                  I happen to like Taqueria Vallarta but not everyone agrees.

                  1. re: scoobyhed

                    Tortas Los Picudos, a deservedly popular torta shop, is on 24th. If I lived in that area, I'd probably eat there several times a month. Totally worth a look.

                    That guy is a big fan of Taqueria San Francisco. I've not much of an opinion there.

                    1. re: dunstable

                      I've eaten at Taqueria San Francisco twice now....the burrito (al pastor) definitely beat out the tacos (al pastor and chorizo), though both are good. I would definitely return for burritos, but I'd get tacos al pastor elsewhere (taqueria san jose, etc).

                      I haven't tried Tortas Los Picudos yet, but I had a good torta at La Torta Gorda (24th and York).

                      Also, to the OP, have you been inside La Palma yet? I sort of want to live inside that place.

                      Dave MP